Celebrities without Estate Plans

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Prince is not the first famous person to pass away unexpectedly without an estate plan.

With Prince's estate in the news the public is getting a close look at what happens when a celebrity passes away without having created a will. Prince, however, is not the first star to lack an estate plan. It has happened several times before.

The Telegraph has compiled a list of some other recent celebrities who did not have estate plans and the problems caused for their heirs in "10 famous people who died without a will - and the problems it caused."

Some of the highlights on the list are:

  • Jimi Hendrix – His entire estate went to his father who subsequently left it to his own adopted daughter and cut his biological son out of the estate. The son and daughter have faced off in court several times.
  • Billie Holiday – When she passed away she was broke. What little she had became the property of her estranged husband. That entitled him to receive royalties from her work.
  • Bob Marley – The singer passed away leaving behind a widow and nine children. The family has engaged in a series of lawsuits over the estate.
  • Amy Winehouse – Her parents inherited her entire estate. They later had to take out loans to deal with the expenses of handling her complicated finances.
  • Martin Luther King – Decades after his assassination his three surviving children have gone to court several times to settle their many disputes over their father's legacy.
  • Tupac - After his death the rapper's mother and father fought over the right to inherit his estate. Eventually, his mother set up a trust that manages his legacy.

Reference: Telegraph (May 17, 2016) "10 famous people who died without a will - and the problems it caused."

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